Reasons for Abstinence

Porn and Video Games are Harming Boys’ Brains — and Bodies: Psychologist (2015)

Modern American young men are less violent than in the past, but prolonged use of video games and porn are causing unhealthy rewiring of their brains, says an expert on human psychology.

In an interview with the BBC, Philip Zimbardo said that a study of 20,000 young men showed less violence, lower drug use, and less drinking than in the past – but that the replacement of father figures with video games and porn is leading to erectile dysfunction and other negative physical and psychological consequences.

“Our focus is on young men who play video games to excess,” said Zimbardo, “and do it in social isolation – they are alone in their room.”

“Now, with freely available pornography, which is unique in history…they are combining playing video games, and as a break, watching on average, two hours of pornography a week.”

Overstimulation via video games and porn “begins to change brain function. It begins to change the reward center of the brain, and produces a kind of excitement and addiction,” says the psychologist, who detailed the study’s results in his new book, Man [Dis]Connected.

Because young men are often alone with these activities, Zimbardo said that many men will “wish [they were] playing World of Warcraft” in class, and “when…with a girl,” they will tell themselves, I “wish I was watching pornography, because I’ll never get rejected.”

Zimbardo defines excessive use of video games or pornography at five hours or more per day, though says it depends on the person. “It’s a new kind of an addiction – it’s an activity addiction. And for me, it’s not the number of hours. It’s really that it’s a psychological change in mindset.”

He says that video games are “not bad” … but his objection is that both activities are the center of many boys’ lives. And while boys get “psychologically excited” by pornography and video games, physiologically, boys are less aroused – and also facing obesity, Type II Diabetes, and erectile dysfunction.

Zimbardo told The Guardian that much of the problem comes from a lack of fathers in the home. “Fathers give love provisionally. If you want your allowance, if you don’t want me to turn off your computer, then you’ve got to perform. That’s always been the deal with fathers and sons – you don’t get a pass just because you exist, just because you got my name on your birth certificate. You’re going to do it because you want your father to love you and admire you.”

“That central source of extrinsic motivation is gone now for almost one out of every two kids,” he said.

Men should mentor boys, suggested Zimbardo, and schools should focus efforts on providing boys with more productive outlets for activities.
[12 May 2015, Dustin Siggins, https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/porn-and-video-games-are-harming-boys-brains-and-bodies-psychologistLifeSiteNews_com_US_Headlines_06_19_2013&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_0caba610ac-975e64ba27-326232694 ]